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How I got interested in the Truscott Case Part 1

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Chris Grieb

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A couple of people have asked why and how I became interested in this case.

Shortly after Truscott had been sentenced to death I read a small item in Newsweek about the case. The item simply noted that agiatation about the death penalty might lead to its abolition in Canada. I forgot till one day in 1966 walking home from work in New York City I entered a small bookstore. This small bookstore had a newsletter about interesting forthcoming books. There was an item about a book called The Trial of Steven Truscott. When the book was published I published I purchased and shortly later read it.

Looking back the book failed to be as objective as one hopes for. Later looking at some reviews it was more properly a brief for the defense. Yet the book had shaken Canada. It was a best seller and the Ottawa government had agreed to a review by the Canadian Supreme Court. I followed the Court's which included testimony by several witnesses including Steven Truscott. While pathologists split evenly on the time of death other testimony of sores on his penis seemed favorable to Truscott. Psychologists who testified what they saw a normal young man. The biggest disappointment was Truscott's own testimony which basically had him not remembering anything about the trial. After the arguments before the court we waited for the decision. It was 8 to 1 against Truscott. I read editorials and comments and must say I still found the decision disappointing.

I did not totally lose interest in the 70th made contact with The Trial's author Isabel Lebourdais. She confirmed some of my suspicions about individuals. She also told me that Steven had been paroled and had married. I later found that he had been required to take a new name.

During the next decades I occasionally would try and find if there were any further developments in the case.

To be continued.

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